Why I Walk…

Today was the annual Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. This event takes place each autumn and is used to raise awareness and much-needed funding for research on breast cancer in Finland. I’ve taken part in the walk physically three years now, and at least supported the walk if I wasn’t able to attend it every years since 2008.

I won’t be missing any future years if at all possible.

One of the reasons it was a special day both this year and last revolved around sharing the event with dear friends who are breast cancer survivors. One of friend was in the middle of her chemotherapy treatment during last year’s walk and bravely and courageously walked the longer route through Helsinki despite not feeling at all at her best. This year she’s doing fantastic, she’s finished chemo, and she continues to amaze and marvel providing endless amounts of inspiration to many. This year was additionally special as another dear friend celebrated the official notice that she is cured of her own battle against breast cancer which started five years ago.

I honestly can’t imagine life without either of these two brilliant women, and I’m incredibly grateful and humbled to share the day with them.

The day was even more poignant when I arrived home to find a message from an old friend who is now beginning her own battle against breast cancer. It may have been years since I’ve seen her, but this news hit me hard and brought home once again just how precious life and time are. I hope she knows I’m with her, even if not physically there.

For the three women above, and for the other women who have fought and won, as well as those who have sadly lost, their individual battles against breast cancer, I will walk. With hope and the dedication of those who dedicate their own lives to finding a cure, may we be a few steps closer to eliminating it finally and definitively.

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